Examples of past essays will be available in the IVLE Workbin and/or course Wiki.
More detailed instructions will be available on the course Wiki; and will be discussed in tutorial sessions.
For now, start thinking about possible aspects of Eropagnis society to explore.
An Example of Eropagnis Culture (Based on several past essays on Eropagnis by NUS students)
KROW and GNIBBULC : Contradictory Rituals among the People of Eropagnis
The people of Eropagnis are made up of highly organized groups, in which differentiation and classification of one’s identity is made through one’s looks and native language. However, a close study of Eropagnis society reveals that despite their differences, many of the people practice very similar and standard customs.
One custom in particular is very commonly practiced everywhere. This particular custom is especially unique and interesting because it is actually made up of two parts: Krow and Gnibbulc .
Krow is a ritual performed almost every day of the week. The ritual involves getting away from the family before the sun rises and returning when the sun is about to set. This sacred ritual even separates parents from their children (as children are not allowed to join the ritual, but instead are sent to initiation temples, known as Sloohcs , from which the children’s own parents are excluded).
Both males and females practice Krow . It is believed that the greater the number of people in any family that perform this ritual, the more powerful and prosperous that family will be.
What is actually done in the ritual of Krow is highly diversified. Being a magic-ridden society, the people of Eropagnis do not like to discuss Krow . They believe what they do is beyond other people’s understanding. Furthermore, those who actually admit that they like performing the ritual or even talking about it are generally accused of being crazy.
At the completion of the rituals of Krow , those who are not married among the people of Eropagnis move on to perform Gnibbulc .
Gnibbulc is a ritual performed only at night. It involves trance-like practices, in which people move their bodies to the beat of ceremonial music and worship a great multi-colored light, usually located at the center of an enormous temple. Holy liquid fire is swallowed again and again, which is believed to rid the body of any harm and in particular relieve the stresses associated with the day-time rituals of Krow .
Interior of a Gnibbulc Temple: Ceremonial Music Specialist in Foreground
The people of Eropagnis prepare themselves for the rituals of Gnibbulc by smearing their hair with animal mucus and the women in particular visit lesser temples of preparation known as Nolas Riah . In the Nolas Riah , witch women and transgender ritual specialists provide a variety of services, such as hair ironing, in the process of which burning of the ears is sometimes endured.
Even when practitioners do not call upon the Nolas Riah , preparations for Gnibbulc are grand and extravagant. Female worshippers often dress more lavishly than their male counterparts, while males compete with one another to position the most luxurious and expensive of chariots in front of the temple.
Both rituals of Krow and Gnibbulc are interdependent in the initial stages of a person’s life, particularly in the first few years after they have passed through the initiation ceremonies of the Sloochs , and thus enter into Eropagnis adulthood.
The people of Eropagnis believe that practicing both Krow and Gnibbulc combines the power of both rituals. Those few who insist on exclusively practicing only one or the other are generally frowned upon and shunned by those who practice both.
The people of Eropagnis believe that if no one in a family practices Krow , it will place the family in jeopardy, bringing bad luck and impoverishment. Gnibbulc is usually for the unmarried because the ritual is believed to somehow increase one’s chance of finding a mate as well as cleansing one’s soul through listening to the magical beat of the ceremonial music.
While there is much left unsaid here about the mysteries of these fascinating and obviously superstitious customs, it cannot be doubted that nowhere outside of the exotic land of Eropagnis have anthropologists found such a remarkable intertwining of two more contradictory rituals than those of Krow and Gnibbulc .